Building rapport with sales prospects can be challenging, but there are actually some small things to do on a cold call to help.


Confirm that you are not interrupting anything

It is safe to assume that your prospect will be busy when you cold call them. This is because they are either busy working if you are performing B2B calling, or they may be busy relaxing if you are doing more B2C calling. With that in mind, it can go a long way toward building rapport if you check with the prospect if you are interrupting anything.

Notice that we do not suggest asking them if they are busy because we already know that they are busy. We are checking to see if we are interrupting anything. Here is a great way to do that early in a cold call, and this simple question can help to build rapport.

Have I caught you in the middle of anything?


Disqualify the prospect

Another small change that you can make is to disqualify the prospect early in the call. This is to question or express doubt if the prospect needs what you have.

Sounds a bit crazy, right? We are going to doubt if the prospect needs what we are calling about.

Yes, and this is going to build rapport for a couple of reasons. First, you will be doing the exact opposite of what most other salespeople do, and this can make you stand out as a genuine and not too pushy type of salesperson. And secondly, it puts the prospect’s interests ahead of yours.

What this looks like is simply throwing in one of these statements early in your cold call.

I am not sure if you are a good fit for what we do.
I am not sure if you need our services or not.
I am not sure if you are the right person to speak with or not.


Make the call about them

Most salespeople have an approach that is “all about me,” and this involves jumping right away to talk about the products they want to sell you and the company that they work for.

Want to build rapport? Do the exact opposite on a cold call. Make the call all about them by talking about what is going on on their side and getting them to do more talking than you.


Ask them questions

One way to help get a conversation to be all about the prospect is to ask good pre-qualifying questions. These are questions that inquire about the current state on the prospect’s side. And by simply being armed with 3 to 5 of those, you will drastically shift the conversation from being about you to being about them.


Let the prospect lead

Nothing kills rapport more than getting pushy with the close. If you agree with that, then can we do the opposite when cold calling and build rapport by not being too aggressive?

One way to do this is to let the prospect lead with how you close for the next step. Here is an example:

What step do you want to take next?

If you have done some of the other things that you need to do, like communicate value, find pain, and qualify, you can have confidence in having a soft close approach.


SalesScripter helps you to improve your cold call.